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Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Time Change

On Sunday 11/3 at 2am, daylight savings time ends and we “fall back”– essentially adding an extra hour to the day. Remember when getting an extra hour of sleep on a Saturday night was something you looked forward to?

Well, that was before you had kids.

Now the thought of adding an extra hour into your child’s day is terrifying! What if your 7am waker starts waking at 6am? Or, worse yet, what if your 6am waker starts waking at 5am!?!?

The best way to survive the time change is to gradually adjust your child’s sleep times in the days leading up to 11/3. Below is a foolproof, step-by-step guide to prepare your kids for the shift.

GOAL: On Monday 11/4 be the mom with the kid who isn’t cranky from waking up too early! 

To gradually adjust kids’ body clocks to the new time, you move all their sleep times FORWARD/LATER in small increments. This means adjusting both naps and bedtimes later gradually each day.

Younger children taking more naps typically take a little longer to adjust so I recommend beginning to shift their schedule on Wednesday 10/30. Kids 2 years and older tend to adjust more quickly so you can start to adjust their time on Friday 11/1.

For younger kids, you shift their sleep times later by 15 minutes each day for four days. So, if they normally wake up at 8:30am and go to bed at 6:00pm, that would change to 8:45am and 6:15pm on 10/30. For older kids, you can shift their sleep times later by 30 minutes each day for two days.

On Saturday night, 11/2, their sleep times should be 1 hour later than they were the previous weekend. Then, when the time change occurs on Sunday and we “fall back” an hour, their sleep times will be back to their normal schedule.

Viola!

So, don’t worry. You can do this! You are a mom with a plan and you can tackle this time change!

Certified Child Sleep Coach and founder of Awesome Little Sleepers, Jessica Berk, helps clients tackle their family’s sleep challenges. She believes that all moms should be done parenting from at least 8pm to 6am and she works 1-on-1 with moms to make that happen. Follow on FB for expert advice!